T.O. continues to assail trade to the Ravens

<b>Bonus Free Story! - Please consider a site subscription.</b><br>OWINGS MILLS – Disgruntled All-Pro wide receiver Terrell Owens continued his verbal assault against his trade to the Baltimore Ravens.<br><br> In a radio interview with The Sporting News, Owens addressed several issues, including whether his agent, Dave Joseph, had committed malpractice by missing the deadline to void the remaining three years of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.<br>

"The Player's Union says they talked with David. I am going to give David the benefit of the doubt just like a mom or a dad with their kid," Owens said. "This is the situation and you just have to go with your gut feeling. I know David is very diligent and thorough about things. I don't think Gene Upshaw talked with David personally. I think there are some other guys who talked to him. David even mentioned specific guys, Todd Flanagan and Mark Levin and he says he has documented a conversation that he had with them to file early or late. At that time, those particular people didn't have a clear answer as to what he could do. I think he said he ran into one of the guys around Combine time and they had a conversation. They talked about me voiding my contract in the next couple of days and the guy wished David luck. 

"This is something we've been waiting on for a while and everyone pretty much knew what was going on with San Francisco and me, so I still have a case. San Francisco knew I was going to void my contract after the season anyway. There in itself, I still have a case and everyone knew this. Everyone in the 49ers organization knew this. (Terry) Donohue knew that. I am going to give David the benefit of the doubt. It's not something where I don't believe what he's saying. I've known David for eight years and he's never had a mix up like this before. This is something dealing with my contract. If we, as a player were to get a fine,during the course of the season it goes across many peoples' desks. Many people look at it before they sign off on it. Then I, the player, get a certified letter in the mail and they send me my fine. So, it's the same situation. This is something of a greater magnitude, this is my contract. I wouldn't think David would make a mistake like this."

Owens said the NFL Players Association discussed whether NFL Players Association had acknowledged not sending him a copy of the notification according to the collective bargaining agreement.

"When I talked with Gene Upshaw, last week, he didn't dispute that at all. I'm entitled and I didn't get that," Owens said.

Owens on his talks with the 49ers or Ravens: "With the 49ers front office, no. I really don't have a desire to. With the Ravens, I haven't talked with anyone except Ozzie Newsome. A couple days before we got something going with them contractually, I talked with Ray Lewis. We just briefly talked about what it was going to take to get the deal done and I haven't really talked with him since. Outside of that, I've talked with some 49er teammates, all those guys, they're calling me and asking what's going on, as to why San Francisco is trying to mess me up. It doesn't surprise me. They want me to fight it as far as I can because they know it's not right."

Owens on his conversation with Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis: "When I talked with him last week, it was just a situation of what is it going to take to get me there. I think he talked with Ozzie (Newsome) prior to talking with me. Obviously, I want to get paid. At the same time, in a situation like this, I feel like I was dealt with unfairly. I just want a shot at a team that I have the right to. Baltimore is obviously one of my choices, but the Philadelphia Eagles were high on my priority list. If it came down to a situation and I told Ozzie this, I'm not happy with the trade, just by the way it went down. If I had my choice, I would choose Philly, just from the standpoint that I feel like I fit in well with that organization, that offense. My talents and Donovan McNabb's talents, they go together like peanut butter and jelly. My career is at stake at this point."

Owens on if Baltimore would meet or exceed the Eagles' contract offer and if he would accept such an offer: "I can't really say at this point. I'll just talk that over with my agent. This is a situation that he and I would just sit down and talk over the numbers and go from there. Right now, I can't really say."

Owens on Deion Sanders' assertion that he would fit well in Baltimore: 

"He has valid points and that is something that I am very aware of. This is not an easy situation. I need to weigh all my options and make a decision. We are still going to fall back on the principles of me exercising my rights as a free agent and be where I want to be. I know the Ravens organization is a great organization and told Ozzie they have some great things going there with the likes of Ray Lewis. This is not an easy situation for me. At the same time, I don't want to be stripped of something I signed contractually and that was the right to void my contract and become a free agent. I understand everything and I wish everyone would put themselves in my shoes and feel what I'm feeling."

Owens on whether he would respond and play hard if it's determine that he's the property of the Ravens:

"I think I'll be able to do that. There's no doubt. Everyone knows how I play the game, I'm going to play the game hard. Nothing has changed as far as my off-season is concerned. I am going to work out hard, like I was going back to play in San Francisco. It hasn't been all peaches and cream, but I've always prepared myself like it was my first few years in the league. I've never really felt renewed energy, as far as going to Philly, like I felt the first few years in the league. I used to be excited going back from the off-season, trying to compete and win games. That's when Steve Young, Jerry (Rice) and Ken Norton, and all those guys were there. When I had the opportunity and thought I was going to Philly, I was excited. I felt excited with the newness of going somewhere where I can display my talent. With the likes of Donovan (McNabb), I would be able to do that. I'm familiar with the West Coast offense. Those are some of the things that are in my favor."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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